Some Spanish phrases that you need in a conversation

1 – HACE UN TIEMPO, a while back/a while ago
Pretty useful if you are telling something but you can’t remember when it happened, you can always use.
Hace un tiempo, and you are sorted

Hace un tiempo aprendí a tocar el piano, no sé si ahora recuerdo como hacerlo.
A while back I learned to play the piano, I do not know if I remember how to do it now.

2 – ESTAR EN PAZ – to be quits
Although most of the time people relate this sentence to money, it could be used for any other things, like a favour for example.

Aquí tienes los 5 euros que te debía, ahora estamos en paz.
Here you are, the $5.00 I owed you, now we are quits.

#note-in some Spanish speaking countries they use “tablas” instead of “en paz”

3 – DE CUALQUIER MANERA – either way
If you are between you options, good or bad, it is a good time to use “de cualquier manera”.

No sé si vamos a ir a Grecia o a España este verano, de cualquier manera van a ser unas vacaciones geniales.
I do not know if we are goring to Greece or to Spain this summer, either way it’s going to be a great holidays.

4 – PARA VARIAR – for a change.
When you want to express exactly that a change, or something different.

Normalmente juego al tenis, pero esta semana voy a nadar, para variar
I normally play tennis, but this week I am going to swin for a change.

5 – ESTAR A PUNTO DE + INFINITVO – to be just about to + infinitve
When you are about to do/finish/start something is when you would use this phrase.

Ya he acabado el trabajo, y estoy a punto de salir de la oficina.
I have finish work, and I am just about to leave the office.

#note-when you want to answer a question you as you would in English but saying “just about”, in Spanish we will say “a punto”. If your boss asks you if you have finish the report, and you are just about to finish it you could reply: a punto.

Augusto Restrepo

Augusto is the founder of Spanish for America, and a Spanish Instructor based in the United States. He is a professional translator and business language consultant, who focuses on the correct use of the Spanish language for advertising, media, promotional campaigns, television and radio. He also advises individuals and businesses on new structures for intercultural relationships with Spanish Language communities, countries and markets.

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